50 tips and takeaways from the BrightonSEO 2013 conference

Posted by Julie McNamee on 13 Apr, 2013
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We collection tips and takeaways from the major search conferences in the UK so you don't have to. Here are 50 of the best from BrightonSEO.

The Brighton SEO conference is a meeting of the UK's best online marketers. If you couldn't make it to the April 2013 event, we've collected 50 tasty tips and ingenious insights.


1) Your links should come from relevant sites or Google will easily spot they're not normal.
Ex-Googlers Fili Wiese, Jonas Weber & Alfredo Pulvirenti

2) When submitting a disallow request to Google, go for the whole domain.

3) Even if you're linking to a relevant site you could still be penalized.

4) Do link building for traffic acquisition, not just for the search engines.

5) If you're solving a problem for someone with a good quality article don't worry about being penalized for a follow link.

6) Don't play games with reconsideration requests. You'll get caught very easily.

7) Changing anchor text from keyword rich to branded links, to be reconsidered, probably won’t work.

8) Use Majestic's historic advanced report to analyze your backlinks and decide which are the bad ones.
Paul Madden @PaulDavidMadden

9) Signs of a bad link are: poor link metrics; wrong ccltd (top level domain - country code); reason for the site; links to bad places; no social activity; no interaction; commercial anchors again and again. All these indicators point to a bad site.
Paul Madden

10) Risk is obvious in the anchor text distribution - it should be varied.
Paul Madden

11) To clean up bad links, remove what you can, disavow the rest. Then, importantly, wait for a while - only then ask for re-inclusion request.
Paul Madden

12) Know when to walk away. Sometimes it will just be more cost-effective to walk away and start again.
Paul Madden


13) Don't ask a good SEO to get you to number 1 in the search rankings in 72 hours - it's a long-term strategy.

14) Use prefetch and prerender for quicker page load times.
Rich Falconer @rich_falconer

15) Prefetch downloads the file and holds till clicked. You can request multiple files.
Rich Falconer

16) Prerender downloads and fully renders to prevent a lag when the user clicks.
Rich Falconer

17) Find out from analytics data where you could use prefetch and prerender. They'll tell you which pages your visitors are most likely to click on.
Rich Falconer

18) SEO-friendly AJAX is good for user experience but bad for search if used badly.
Rich Falconer

19) pushState is now supported by all major browsers - get the speed benefit of AJAX and use the back button.
Rich Falconer

20) Tool tips: As well as Screaming Frog for crawling websites for data, use Power Mapper
Rich Falconer

21) Power Mapper usefully visualizes your website structure (ie, produces pretty pictures).
Rich Falconer

22) Install HTTrack - install and save files, then install grepWin to search for a string of characters using regex patterns.
Rich Falconer

23) Grep your competitors' pages to see which keywords they're using.
Rich Falconer

24) When posting an offer, have a headline that tells your prospect why they should buy, use social proof (like how many people have already bought) and urgency (x days left).
Sharon Flaherty

25) Tool tip: Use Zoom, the website search engine, for internal search to find out what your customers are looking for on your site.
Alan Ferguson

26) Add links to the most looked-for content onto your home page so people don't have to go looking for it.
Alan Ferguson

27) Add
Disallow: /search/
Disallow: /?s=*
to your robots.txt to arm yourself against negative SEO.
Julia Logan @irishwonder

28) What you think is a negative SEO campaign against you could be an error on your own website, eg duplicate content, de-indexing your own site, robots.txt problems.
Julia Logan

Social media

29) Facebook is a problem for Google because they can't get to all the data. Google+ is of course easier for them. So use it.

30) There's no direct ranking impact from Google+ at the moment but there is indirect ranking (from clickthroughs) and if you're already in there you'll be at an advantage later.

31) See your friends' restaurant recommendations so that you know the ones to avoid!
Dave Coplin @dcoplin


32) Provide great pieces of content, like this one created for http://www.simplybusiness.co.uk - a social media guide http://bit.ly/z0g4eD
Hannah Smith

33) Sometimes you have to go big to keep up with the competition. "Go big to avoid going home."
Hannah Smith

34) If you're risk-averse, do evergreen rather than bang up to the minute content.
Hannah Smith

35) You have to keep doing big content - unfortunately one piece of it isn't enough.
Hannah Smith

36) Be consistent with the quality of your content.
Hannah Smith

37) Expect to spend 40+ hours on big content. 15-20 on small content.
Hannah Smith

38) Use BBC On This Day for content ideas.
Lexi Mills @LexiMills

39) Tool tips: Use trend tools like Trendsmap and Google Trends
Lexi Mills

40) Issues-based content can get high value links and media coverage.
Sharon Flaherty @ConfusedSharon


41) When pitching to a journalist, your pitch has to tie into a bigger issue. For example if it's technology-related, it should be tied into something like health care issues.
Geoff White @geoffwhite247

42) Make sure your images will fit into your target websites' pages.
Lexi Mills

43) Press releases should have no more than three links and link to different areas of the site. They must look natural, viewers should easily be able to cut and paste them; and you can use the footer of a release for keyword rich anchor text in your link.
Lexi Mills

44) Meetup groups are fantastic for making contacts and creating opportunities.
Lexi Mills

45) Bribes only work if they're relevant. An example Lexi gave was muppet-themed cupcakes to promote a new Muppets film.
Lexi Mills

46) Make sure you have all your onsite assets in place before you do outreach.
Lexi Mills

47) Carry out a content review of your website and get rid of the rubbish.
Alan Ferguson @alanfergs

48) Tool tip: Get feedback on your web design from Concept Feedback
Marcus Taylor @MarcusATaylor

49) Find bloggers to reach out to by looking at their Klout score, awards they've won, comments they're getting etc and get to them before they get too big.
Sean Walsh @walshybhoy

50) Be honest, polite and useful when contacting bloggers.
Sean Walsh

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